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Imagine having flown everywhere, but never actually anywhere. It's confusing, but it's the case for our editor, Cynthia, who recently headed out on her first private plane flight after years of commercial plane travel. Here's her story:
"It's just like driving a car," he said. "You won't ever look at flying the same way again."
Sid passed his hand down the wing, pausing here and there to look over and under, squinting with the sun's glare on what was a sparkling clear day in southern California. We were in a kind of parking lot, after all, except one that had us surrounded by private jets on the tarmac at Van Nuys Airport. And we were double-checking that all was well before setting off for a weekend trip, except that trip would be over mountains and cities in a teeny-tiny, seafoam green 1962 Beechcraft Bonanza V-Tail.
This would be my first flight in a private plane.
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Changing plans at the last minute is hard to do, but what if a little flexibility and some courage could turn your flight to Chicago into one destined for Chiang Mai, Thailand? All you had to do was press a button.
This was the challenge recently posed to travelers departing from New York's JFK International Airport Terminal 8, when beer company Heineken decided it was time to change some lives.
We won't spoil the results of the experiment (watch the video above), but we will admit that it's brilliant and hope it becomes a regular thing, even if only twice a year.
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Just last week we detailed 21 countries that use the "dollar" other than the United States. Although they share the name of the US' money, almost all were far more colorful and richly illustrated. Indeed, travelers will be delighted to find that airports take pride of place on two currencies.
First, there's the $500 Hong Kong Dollar bill from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. You may know them better as HSBC. This note depicts a view of HK's Chek Lap Kok Airport (plus the control tower and tail of a 747) with such detail that terminal and maintenance buildings, and even aircraft taxiing to the runways, are clearly visible. Too bad they didn't throw in an easter egg, like a "Where's Waldo?"
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Believe it or not, a few years ago there existed a helicopter transfer service from the Wall Street Heliport in New York City out to the city's airports. It was awesome. For $120 (or $99 on sale), travelers could zip from downtown to their awaiting airplane flight in 10 minutes.
And then the recession happened. US Helicopter is no more, and those big ballin' heli rides to the airports are over and done with unless you're President Obama or making it rain with thousand dollar bills.
The magic may be back, however; ride booking service Uber just announced that today (July 3) only, from 12-8pm, New Yorkers will be able to open their Uber apps and book a freakin' chopper to the Hamptons. There's just one thing: it's $3,000 one-way for five people (including Uber SUV transfers to the Manhattan heliport and from the East Hampton heliport).
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We've seen some cute airplane-theme nail art in our wanderings around the internetcreativity like this and thisbut never before has an airline offered to paint your nails the same color as their aircraft. That is, until American Airlines' launch of their brand new 777-300ER on the Los Angeles - London route and, with it, the creation of a nail polish with British brand Nails Inc.
The color is bespoke, the same mica shade as the fuselage of the "new American" livery. Nails Inc actually names their polishes after famous London destinations such as Notting Hill Gate, Portobello, St James, Piccadilly Circus and The Thames, but they've made an exception in this case, instead naming it "2 Park" for the oneworld alliance headquarters address in Manhattan.
If your travels included stops in NYC, Miami, LA, Sao Paulo, London, Cairo, Moscow, Bangkok, Sydney and Seoul, your piece would look like the above.
Ever try to buy a gift for a frequent traveler? It's difficult! For someone who's been around the world, or even just around the country, a soap and lotion set or scented candle is just blah. This is why we're loving Meshu, a company that interprets travel routes into geometric jewelry.
Meshu promises to "turn your places into beautiful objects," and what they mean is using your (or someone else's) plotted travel routes to generate a design that's then manufactured to become a necklace pendant, earrings or cufflinks.
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It's craxy to think that it's already been 9 months since the South Korean hit song "Gangnam Style" began its viral spread and climb from K-pop success to international movement. Just as crazy is the fact that the music video holds the record of being the first YouTube video to be viewed over 1 billion times.
Last week, Psy released the sequel song and video to Gangnam Style, called it simply "Gentleman." To say it was highly anticipated would be a gross understatement, but we're happy to say that Psy hasn't let us down one bit; in fact, it's reignited our love for Seoul.
For the uninitiated, Psy is a South Korean pop star, though he's also been called a rapper. In this song and video, as in Gangnam Style, he pokes fun at the style and assumed swagger of Seoul's Gangnam-gu, a flashy district with high rents, high expectations and a focus on the high-status lifestyle. Psy traipses about the city as he thinks a gentleman would, although he's unable to part with his un-gentlemanly ways until he finds a girl who puts him in check. No amount of money or indulging in what's construed as classy can fix his pranking ways, but love can.
Without further ado, here's 5 real-life locations from the music video, "Gentleman":
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The Sony Action Cam HDR-AS15 with helmet mount, which we used to film the zip line POV below
There are plenty of Point-Of-View movie cameras on the market to choose from and they're truly the bee’s knees when it comes to taking and sharing action shots.
It wasn't all that long ago that travelers were limited to lugging around a bulky camcorder to capture the action-packed moments of a trip, and always from the sidelines. Thanks to constant advances in technology and the drive to decrease camera size as you increase functions, many action cameras now even have built-in WiFi, so you can gloat within minutes on social media.
Obviously we love the thought of POV time-lapse adventures and the like, but here are ten awesome uses of POV cameras while traveling:
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As you get back into the swing of things on this Monday morning we thought we’d share a little bit of a video distraction. We realize you’re probably still working through the whole lose-an-hour effect of the recent switch back to daylight saving time.
What we have here is a combination that we haven’t seen before, but it makes perfect sense. A few pretty skilled individuals—known as the Takeover—find their way into an airplane graveyard in Mojave, CA and do the whole freerunning and parkour thing.
Put an abandoned site together with street art and it's like travel photography gold. Mark the derelict ship Duke of Lancaster on your must-visit map as it's the newest place to add graffiti to its rusting hulk. We can smell the Instagram "likes" already.
Located in the Dee estuary near Mostyn, on the north coast of Wales, the Duke of Lancaster has sat unused and seemingly unloved since 1979. It was only recently that former street artist Maurice Blunt spotted the ship while traveling on a train, and formed the idea to turn her into a canvas for street art.
We’re the first to admit that we are suckers for any kind of travel video, and we usually fall head over heels when it involves time-lapse photography. This week we’re wasting minute after minute thanks to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation—NRK.
Basically they took a whole bunch of pictures and videos from one of the most northern stretches of Norway’s railroad system. It’s the one that kind of links Trondheim over with Bodø. Then through the magic of technology they smooshed things into about a minute, so that you can see what it’s like to take the train through the countryside—and through four seasons—in just seconds.
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Picture this: you've just ordered a cocktail and, while a bartender shakes it up, you catch a glimpse of a tail of a Delta 747 gliding by on its way to the runway to take off for Tokyo. The sun is shining on your face as you sip your drink and watch another Delta jet gracefully lift its wings. It's almost time for your turn.
Such a relaxing scene is the stuff of frequent traveler dreams, or was, since Delta is making this a reality with the introduction of open-air Sky Decks at two of their Sky Club locations. Under construction as we type, the first-ever outdoor terraces in the Delta system will be found at New York-JFK and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson as soon as four months from now.